November 6, 2000
From: Michelle Smith, Executive
director of corporate relations and
Emory United Way coordinator
To the editor:
The LGBT Commission has raised important issues regarding the actions
of the Boy Scouts and their relationship, if any, to Emorys participation
in the United Way. This is a complex issue that must ultimately be answered
personally. I only hope that in so doing, inquiry will lead us all to
a fuller understanding of charity.
Some have suggested that the Boy Scouts should be penalized by having
Emory decline to participate in United Way or have donors reduce or elect
not to donate. It seems unfair to penalize 249 otherwise worthy nonprofits
throughout the 13-county metro area because the national leadership of
one grantee has a position with which many people disagree. Further, as
a top-down organization, Boy Scout chapters nationwide are mandated to
follow their directive even if they disagreeand some door
lose their funding and affiliation as a Scout chapter.
In Atlanta, United Way cuts would likely eliminate some inner city and
suburban Scout troops and not affect national leadership at all. Why should
United Way and its grantees bear the burden of the Boy Scouts actions?
United Way didnt yield to pressure several years ago to exclude
Planned Parenthood and has decided to do the same for the Boy Scouts.
For some years now, United Way has enabled donors to direct their donations
to eligible grantees and to specific funding areas. By completing the
pledge form and the specific care form included in every employee pledge
package, one can direct a donation to or away from any eligible grantee.
Emory has made sure that United Way is aware of the array of questions and concerns that have been expressed regarding this important issue. So, give until it feels good and share your thoughts about these issues and employee workplace giving by logging on our web site at www.emory.edu/IA/OCR/unitedway1.htm.